Week 5 Boston Marathon 2015 Training

MONDAY: Core and Cross Training

As a road runner, I know the importance of a strong core.  If your core is strong, you can stay steady on the changing terrain, elevation, and running surfaces. I live in the hills of Southern California, so a strong core is vital to all the hill running I endure.

I decided to give Crunch Live's 30-minute workout "Attach That Core" a try. Crunch Live offers a selection of online workouts tailored to your specific workout needs. This workout targeted the entire abdominal area, including obliques and some lower body moves to include the glutes. I love finding new ways to challenge my core, because we all know that regular crunches and planks get old fast! If you haven't thought about your core much, this is a good video to start with. You can try it today with their 3-Day FREE Trial, or try any of their videos. I don't know about you, but I love to "try before I buy." To find out more about Crunch Live click here.

I really enjoy doing some Cross Training/Swimming. When I say swimming, I mean kicking with the kick-board for 35 minutes without resting. This gets the blood flowing to my sore legs and helps them recover. I try and remember to use my hips and glutes to propel my body instead of bending and kicking my legs. This is also a great way to stretch and strengthen your feet and ankles. The pool felt great, and because it was raining, I was the only person in the pool! I love it when I get the whole pool to myself.


TUESDAY: Resistance Training and Speed work - Mile Repeats

Upper body and lower body resistance training with 4lb. medicine ball and core training with a balance ball. I have a client that I train on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so I get a good workout in with her. Today we did lunges (forward, backward, and sideways) while holding the medicine ball, plus some squats. I like to incorporate some upper body moves with the lower body exercises for a total body workout. We did some standing overhead press, chest press, and arm lateral extensions while holding the 4lb. dumbbell.

For some added core training, we used a balance ball and did some crunches while holding the medicine ball and planks and bridges on the balance ball. My favorite is the Ball Pass which works your entire body (you can find out how to do it here CORE TRAINING). 

 Mile Repeats:

  • 1 mile warm up, easy pace

  • 1 mile at 7:15 (2 minute recovery)

  • 1 mile at 7:12 (2 minute recovery)

  • 1 mile at 7:17 (2 minute recovery)

  • 1 mile cool down, easy pace

This never is easy, but always a hard effort. I tried to concentrate on my breathing, keeping it controlled with my steps. I tend to do shallow breathing when I am running drills, and I have a hard time reaching the final .25 of each mile without being out of breath. Today it went rather well; it was still hard but comfortably hard if there is such a thing! My legs were ready to go, and I had to keep reminding myself to use my new running form and push off and extend my leg long behind me, not allowing my typical "butt kicking" when I do speed work. That is when my hamstrings take over and my glutes do nothing.  Mind over matter! Training is just as mental as it is physical.


WEDNESDAY: PiYo (Pilates Yoga) in the morning and a Spin Class in the evening. 

I really enjoy the PiYo class because it helps to strengthen my core and lengthen and stretch my muscles. Plus it is fun to exercise in a group with my best friend and enjoy some great music! The spin class is my non-impact cross training. Cross training is important for runners because it challenges your body to use your muscles in a different way than you do when you run. If running is your only form of exercise, your chances for an overuse injury are quite high. Have you ever tried a spin class? I hated it for about the first three months, then I started to enjoy it, and now I actually love it! Spin is excellent for building your quads, which you will need for all those down hills at the beginning of the Boston Marathon. The uphills don't begin until around mile 17, and the worst hill being at mile 21, a.k.a. Heartbreak Hill. Strong quads are a must for Boston.



I began with a warm up of two miles at an easy pace, then completed three miles at 7:32 average pace per mile (22:36:31) without stopping and finished with a one-mile run at an easy pace for a cool down. Here is how it went: 

  • Mile 1 @ 7:24

  • Mile 2 @ 7:30

  • Mile 3 @ 7:42

I was actually quite surprised that I was able to maintain an average pace of 7:32 for the 3 miles, so all this training is paying off! I chose to run on a trail that is pretty flat, but I had to run out two miles then turn around and run back for the final mile. I hit a little wind resistance and one small incline so it slowed my pace a bit. Tempo runs are hard; you want to stop and catch your breath, but you can't. You are pushing yourself almost to your limit, and you have to keep your head in the game, otherwise it is too easy to walk or slow down and stop. This is where mind over matter comes into play. One thing that has helped me stay focused, CogniTea. I drink a cup before every run to help me stay focused and give me a little extra boost of energy.


FRIDAY: Day of Rest!  Praise the Lord and halleluiah!

I had the pleasure of working this afternoon/evening at the Surf City Marathon Expo in Huntington Beach at the NUUN booth. I am on Team Nuun and always run with Nuun electrolyte tablets in my water bottle to help me stay hydrated. It was a lot of fun meeting runners and sharing information about Nuun.


SATURDAY:  Day of Rest.

Yes you read that correctly. I actually took two days off this week, but I was working again today at the expo, so I was on my feet for eight hours. Today I met a lot of people that follow my page and several fellow ambassadors with: Oiselle Flock, The San Francisco Marathon, and Team Nuun.


SUNDAY: Long Slow Distance

I had an early morning wake-up call and worked the expo yet again, but this time with Nature's Bakery.  I am an ambassador with them, and I enjoy opportunities to work various sporting events where I hand out samples of Fig Bars. Today I worked from 4:30 AM - 1:00 PM.

In keeping with my training schedule, I decided to get my 18 miles in as soon as I got home. Just as the Super Bowl was beginning, I was hitting the pavement. I actually enjoyed running at a different time of day was able to enjoy the beautiful sunset. Thankfully I finished just before dark; I hate running in the dark. My average pace was 8:57 which was right on target with my training plan.  Remember, you are never to run your long slow distance runs at marathon pace.  Find out more about long runs here.